Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Basic Noob Nuc question

    I understand the benefits and usefulness of making nucs for a backyard beekeeper. I also understand that a nuc is a really good size for selling to others to start colonies of their own. But my question is whether a beekeeper who is making nucs from their own bees in their own yard for their own personal use would NEED to start them in a 5 frame nuc box instead of a 10-8 frame hive body? If so, what is the reason? Are they able to keep the smaller box warmer? Do they spread out less in the smaller box? What are the pros and cons of a nuc in a 5 frame box vs. a 10 frame box?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,753

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    you can start a split in an 8 or 10 frame hive, Providing you have ample bees to do so. for example a 50/50 split of a double deep. If you are only doing a swarm control split and wish to have surplus honey. then you would remove less bees. Bees do far better in slightly crowded situations. Those hives that are just boiling over with bees when you open them are always the hives that fill several supers. Also if you want to do multiple splits from a single hive nucs are the only way to go. A nuc can become crowded very quickly. adding a second on top appeals to the bees natural tendency to want to build upward. the second usually fills equally fast. At which point it can be placed into a hive and a second added. some add a third to the nuc giving them 15 framed to start a double deep hive with. he faster a hive builds over the summer the more capable they are of wintering.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    camden, tennessee, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    Very new here but I just bought several nuc boxes and built several more deep nuc hive bodies to use this summer for starting splits or swarms. You will hear the phrase "bees like it hot" or "BTU's make bees" from many of the more experienced members here. It is my understanding that the bees are able to regulate the temperature of a smaller box much more efficiently than a large one. For what it is worth... Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    754

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    The nuc box also offers less area to defend, making it more efficiently defensible from external and internal threats when the bees have a smaller total workforce. I frequently have used 10 frame boxes for splits and housing medium size swarms, the SHBs this last year made that practice a bad idea; slower build and some being overrun. Simply too much pressure and too much territory, reduce one and the bees be will more able to efficiently control of the other and reassign workers to other tasks.
    the con to nucs is more equipment and populations that I find needs more frequent attention. But to successfully increase hives in a pressure environment I consider it a cost of doing business.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    SE Ohio, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    If you want 2 or 3 more hives, 10 fr deep boxes would be ok. But if you want more than that, 4 or 5 fr nucs are the way to go. I have tried 3 fr, they do work well too, but I like the quicker build times with my 5 fr nucs. More than 5 fr would be a waste of resources if my queen does not start laying and less than 3 fr just does not take off like I like and is not as stable/heavy enough in 20-30 mph Spring winds. Try different ways. You will find those triple stacked 5-fr nucs go like crazy, as TB mentioned above. I drive a t-post on each side with a strap around those big ones. Talk about drawing out foundation quick!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Victoria, Texas
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    I did a split into a nuc about six weeks ago, but failed to shake enough bees into it . When I checked on it a week later, I'd lost a frame of honey and a frame of brood with two of the three queen cells to small hive beetles.

    I cleaned out the mess and added more bees. And think I've salvaged the situation, but it showed the value of starting with a nuc.
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people!
    Life Lessons with Dogs, Bees, and Others

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,508

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    When I start smaller colonies (whether splits or swarms) I put them in their permanent, 10-frame boxes from the start. But I tailor the interior cavity space and number of combs to the size of the colony by using wood follower boards and foam insulation dummies to take up the excess room.

    This allows me to use the exact number of frames that's right for the bees at the time, and then expand the space easily when they start to build by just taking out one or more dummy panels and adding a frame. This keeps it very simple for me, and I think spares the bees the disruption of being moved from one set of boxes to another.

    For personal use this flexible box arrangement allow me to use the "nuc" bees in any way I choose: as resource hives, brood factories, wax drawers, or just as the start of a new colony. And they can go back and forth over the course of a season from small to big and back to small again.

    The only downside is that it's a bit more more expensive because I need a full sized base, top, etc. vs nuc or double nuc equipment. But those half-sized spaces don't cost just half as much, either. And if all my equipment is full sized, then it all fits together so I can maintain a smaller inventory of stuff.

    Enj.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    SE Ohio, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Basic Noob Nuc question

    Another good option Enj.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •